As parents, it happens to the best of us… Every now and then, our kids are going to do something that makes us really, really angry.
How we deal with that anger is the topic of this week’s video:
If you’d rather read than watch, I’ve posted a transcript of the video below. And don’t forget to check out Kids: The Manual for more detailed information on strategies for dealing with children aged 2 – 12!View the Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Dana Obleman. Welcome to this week’s video blog.
The other day, I had a really great conversation with a mom, who was feeling guilty because she felt she was frustrated and angry a lot of the time. That’s a sensitive subject. It really puts people in a vulnerable spot to admit that they get angry and frustrated with their children. I think there’s so much pressure on us to be happy, enjoy motherhood, think it’s the greatest thing ever, and not have days, where we just want to pull our own hair out.
I’m here to tell you that that’s totally normal and perfectly acceptable. Having children is hard work, and it’s frustrating. You get angry. You’re going to have days like that.
I want to give you a few tips today on how to deal with that in a little bit better way. I find a lot of parents, when they feel angry and frustrated, go right into raising their voice. I get why they’re doing it, I totally do. Sometimes, I just yell. My kids, it scares them because I don’t often yell. There are times, where I just do. I lose my temper just like everybody else, not perfect.
I want to give you a few tips to see if you can curb that, and not go right into yelling. Because what I find happens if you go right into yelling yelling is your strategy for dealing with frustration your kids will start to tune you out. Then, you’ll have to yell louder and louder and louder in order to get their attention. You’ll have to yell longer, and longer, and longer in order to get their attention. That, in itself, is going to be very, very frustrating.
You really want to save yelling. You want to keep it in your back pocket for those times, where you’ve had it and you yell and then, your kids are like, “Whoa! Dad just yelled. He must be really upset. We better check ourselves here.” Don’t get into yelling, it’s never a good strategy for getting what you want your kids to do or dealing with your anger and frustration.
One thing you should try to do and I do this often with myself, if I’m getting frustrated around a particular point in the day, for example, bed time. There was a time a time when my kids, it’s bed time and they’re fooling around, and they’re talking, when they’re supposed to be brushing their teeth. They’re not getting their jammies on fast enough. I start to feel frustration. It means that I haven’t been clear enough with my expectations and consequences.
There’s no point in going in there and starting to yell, and raise my voice, and get angry. It means that I need to back up and start making changes before that even happens. It involved getting really streamlined and clear about what I wanted them to do at bedtime. Here’s the list.
You’re going to get your jammies on.
You’re going to brush your teeth.
We’re going to do some reading.
Then, you’re going to go to bed.
I’m going to set a timer for 20 minutes and if you’re not done in 20 minutes, you’re going to bed with no story.
Then, I’ve been clear about my expectations. I’ve been clear about the consequence. There really always has to be a consequence, no stories, and my kids really enjoy them, so it is motivating to beat the timer. The timer is really one of my favorite parenting tips. I use it for a lot of things because it takes the pressure off me.
You beat the timer, you get stories. All goes well. You miss it, you don’t, tough luck. I can just go and clean up the kitchen or do whatever I need to do and not worry about it.
If they miss the timer, they missed it, then, the consequence. That is a great example of how to stop frustration in its tracks because you’ve thought ahead. You’ve been clear, the same with mornings. Tons of people tell me, “Oh! By the time we leave the house in the morning, I’m yelling. I’m sweaty. I’m frustrated.” That’s a terrible way to start the day, for all of you.
Again, back it right up. Where does the frustration start? Where do you start to feel that little nibble of, “Hmm, getting annoyed here?” That’s where you need to start making that the changes. That can be around everything, chores. Back it right up, find where the frustration begins, and make change.
I always say, “I’m not going to wait until the kids leave home to start enjoying my life. I want to do and make these changes in steps all along the way to have the best life we can all have, build your best family, and really it often always involves, backing up, having a good look at what’s going on and making positive change and making a plan. I love plans.
All right, I hope that helps. Thanks for watching! Sleep well.
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